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DOTA: DotA 101: The Killing Blow

By: Jaclyn Lo - Published April 03, 2008 at 1:43 PM EST - Writer Archive
This isn't about how to steal an enemy hero kill from your allies. The Killing Blow tackles the concept of last hitting and why it's important to improve your overall DotA game.


The concept of last hitting is simple. Last hit implies dealing damage to enemy creeps when its hit points are low enough for you to kill it with one blow. This also applies to attacking allied units to kill them, to deny your enemies gold and experience.

This isn't about how to steal an enemy hero kill from your allies. That does not make you a better player. And this article isn’t meant for competitive players. Last hitting is already an art form for the likes of Meet Your Makers or Virtus Pro. This isn't even for a player who has played just one game of competitive DotA.

This is for people like you and me, who play with friends in public games or take a break by joining Battle.net or GG-Client to play a game. There are still a lot of people in public games who do not even understand the concept of last hitting. Don't act haughty just because you know how to last hit -- you aren't the only DotA player in the world. For those who know it, the practice might just seem too tiresome for them, being casual gamers. Nevertheless, this article aims to shed some light on the concept, and maybe make people better players.

The Concept of Last Hitting

Melee Heroes

Melee heroes only hit units that are right beside them. This puts you in a more dangerous position if you “auto-attack” enemy creeps. As much as possible, you do not want enemy creeps to damage you.

The best thing to do is to “walk” around (by right click) or hold position (by pressing H key) behind your creeps, and only move in (right click or A-left click) to attack a dying creep. Time your attack by estimating how much damage the creep receives on top of how much time you will need to get into melee range of the creep.

Enemy creeps are programmed to attack heroes who are attacking their allied heroes. A useful trick is to hit an enemy hero and force creeps to move toward you, so the creeps are facing you, and not in front of allied creeps. This makes it easier to last hit units. Also, you do not actually need to “hit” the hero to trigger the enemy creeps to move toward you.

In this video, MYM]slahser plays Bristleback in this game against WG. The video shows how he attacks creeps only when it is beneficial for his hero. Early in the game, he has the highest creep score (aside from Maelk, who had Queen of Pain) despite facing two stunners (Lina and Nerubian Assassin) and having a melee hero. Slahser played it safe, along with harassing with his Quill Spray skill.



Ranged Heroes

Ranged heroes make players lazier to last hit than melee heroes because they are usually far from the frontlines of danger. Truth. Unlike melee heroes, being in hold (H) position would not stop them from attacking enemy creeps that are in attack range.

As a ranged hero, you need to constantly “walk” your heroes around to stop your hero from attacking creeps. You can also choose to harass enemy heroes but not attacking them, then moving back when enemy creeps start attacking you. This makes them more wary of being too aggressive and allowing you to reduce their hit points, making them more susceptible for death. As always, attack enemy creeps when they are at the brink of death, to gain the gold bounty.


This article is part of GotFrag's "Get Better Fast" series (formerly eSports 101). This series is designed to help new players, as well as veterans, improve their game. For all of our "Get Better Fast" articles, check out the all new "Get Better Fast" section.

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